Page last updated at 10:25 GMT, Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Three dead in Russian car blast


Russian police examine the vehicle

Three people have been killed and at least one more injured after a car blew up in the northern Russian city of St Petersburg, officials say.

They say the explosion happened in a taxi at about 0855 local time (0555 GMT) near an underground station.

All the dead, one of whom was a young child, were from the same family.

Officials say the blast, in Russia's second largest city, could have been caused by a hand grenade. A criminal investigation is now under way.

A spokesman for Russia's emergencies ministry told the BBC that the taxi exploded during rush-hour just outside the Udelnaya underground station in the north of St Petersburg.


The three people who were killed were from the same family and included a four-year-old child.

The taxi driver suffered serious shrapnel injuries in the chest and later had surgery in hospital.

So far it is unclear why a grenade would have exploded inside a taxi, the BBC's Richard Galpin says.

It could have been an accident as people still collect relics from World War II battlefields in the area, our correspondent says.

He adds that the city also has a history of racist attacks and criminal activity, and there have also been what appear to have been terrorist incidents.

Last year, six people were injured in a blast inside a McDonald's restaurant right in the heart of St Petersburg.

Tuesday's taxi explosion happened as Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was in the St Petersburg region to inspect a border post with neighbouring Finland.

Officials have not commented on whether there are any links between Mr Putin's visit and the blast.

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